A Westchester school district is investigating a targeted “vicious act of racism” that was posted on social media.
New Rochelle Schools Superintendent Laura Feijoo sent an alert to the community this week in response to a post on social media that involved “the vilest of ethnic slurs.”
Feijoo declined to specify what exactly the slur was. The district is currently investigating the incident and Feijoo said they will “take the most severe action possible in response.”
“This type of hurtful, destructive behavior is reprehensible and is certainly unacceptable anywhere in the City School District of New Rochelle,” she said. “Every act of hatred and intolerance must be denounced in the strongest terms.
“This shameful incident compounds and brings closer to home the anger, pain, and frustration that we in New Rochelle, and communities around the world, are experiencing from the recent murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.”
According to Feijoo, the person who wrote the racist comments is not believed to be an actual New Rochelle student, but instead, someone using a false name. It is unclear whether the target of the comments is an actual person or is fictitious.
“These are matters that our investigation will seek to uncover,” Feijoo added. "No matter the outcome, however, the message, obviously meant to be widely seen, is heinous. We condemn it in the strongest terms.”
In response to the racially-charged post, Feijoo said that the district is holding “Healing Circles” for middle and high school students this week that will be hosted visually by social workers and educators “equipped to help students process these traumatic events.”
The school district will also host a “Community Healing Circle" in which “members of the community can come together and share their thoughts, fears and concerns as they relate to matters of racism and George Floyd’s murder.”
The “Community Healing Circle” will be held at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 5 hosted by David Peters, a professional with experience navigating difficult racial issues on Zoom here.
“New Rochelle is a wonderful community where we build on the strength of our diversity and we appreciate the many gifts contributed by residents of all backgrounds and ethnicities,” Feijoo said. “We will not allow any incident of hate to dampen our spirits. We continue to stand together.”
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